Emerging pop star, Aline, is a fascinating woman, with a story that reads like a movie plot. Born in Belgium, Aline is a classically trained opera singer and pianist, who has lived in Paris and now, makes her home in New York City. When she was starting out, to support herself as an artist and songwriter, she worked as a Dominatrix. Aline took some time to speak with us about her hot debut single “Break Your Heart,” produced by Les Grooves (GoldFrapp, Radiohead, Gwen Stefani), and how she went from dominating men to dominating the beat.
Katharine Richardson (KR): I’m sure the first question you get always is about your history as a Dominatrix? Wow, how did you become involved in that world?
Aline (A): When I lived in Paris, a friend introduced me to that world. I began with light foot fetish parties then expanded my activities and started to get paid to dominate men. I figured it was a fun and interesting way to make money while getting started as a singer-songwriter professionally. I always been liking those kind of games and finally discovered that other persons could be into it as well and I got really into it.
KR: You are a no apologies woman and often express your love for the fetishism world. What do you want people to know about the lifestyle?
A: Fetishism is all about really expressing your own desires, and sharing them with the right person. It’s about being and finding yourself even if it seems weird. I believe that as long as it is done with the respect of each other, it’s perfect. Remember, there is always someone out there who shares the same crazy ideas… You just have to find those people and go from there. That’s what fetishism is all about.
KR: Your freedom and confidence in your sexuality seem to be expressed in your music. Is this a conscious choice for you?
A: It is not. That is just who I am. I just do it, and don’t calculate it. My message in my music and how I live my life is just be confident in who you are. I encourage people to not hide and always express those things because they are part of who you are.
KR: Your love of music started very young, when did you decide music was the career you wanted to pursue?
A: When I was 10 years old, my mom gave me a CD player for my birthday, and I started to play music I really loved and to sing along. I remember thinking: “When I grow up, I’ll be a singer!” And here I am! Of course, my art and music has evolved. Growing up, I sang classical and opera and was trained that way. I am also a trained pianist.
When I moved to NYC, I met Lynn Verlayne, who is a wonderful songwriter and vocal producer. We started to further develop me musically in a pop way. I felt I could touch a lot more people if I wrote pop music, so I began writing more and more pop songs. We began experimenting putting electronic instrumentation in to the songs, and I woud love to put my love for opera and for the fetish world in my music and make it universal.
KR: Tell us about your single “Break Your Heart.” What is it about?
A: It is a self-empowering song. After experiencing lots of deceptions in love, I am just reminding myself that I have the power to be the one who can break hearts if needed. It is all about taking control of yourself and your own life. Of course, in a perfect world, nobody shoul have a heart broken.
KR: Les Grooves (Depeche Mode, Gwen Stefani, GoldFrapp) produced the track, what was it like to work with him?
A: Les is a sound genius. I love him. He recently moved to NYC from Australia, where he lived when we started to work together. When people heard “Break Your Heart”, they compared my sound to GoldFrapp, which is such a compliment.
KR: “Break Your Heart” is already catching the Internet on fire with the provocative video. Why do you think people are connecting to it so much?
A: I hear a lot of feedback about this song on social media. I think it’s because the concept is very simple, in your face and genuine. The song, and the video as well. I’m not hiding anything. I’m just presenting who I am with no artifice. I guess people appreciate when artists are just themselves.
KR: The dancing is great…were you trained as a dancer as well?
A: Yes, I trained as a dancer in ballet and modern dance for several years. Choreographers actually love me, because I pick up choreography very fast, and I’m able to make lots of crazy movements.
KR: You were born in Belgium but have traveled the world. Where was the place that you lived that meant the most to you and why? What drew you to NYC?
A: I love to say that what drew me to New York City is New York City itself. New York feels like home now. The city as such an inspiring energy, and I don’t feel like I could give up living here ever. But there are still many places that I want to visit.
KR: People might be surprised to learn that you are classically trained in piano and voice and that you also perform Operas. Tell us about your training and some of your favorite pieces to sing.
A: My Opera voice is high lyric soprano or coloratura, so I sing that kind of repertoire. I think my signature piece is “Glitter and Be Gay” by Bernstein. I just love that piece! I’m also learning the role of Lucia in Lucia in Lammeroor, among others. And I’m gonna perform the role of Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, by Verdi, this season.
KR: Let’s talk about your songwriting now. You have written or co-written all of your upcoming singles. Where and how do you write? What inspires you?
A: My inspirations are life, love and beauty and all the strangeness that exists in the three. I write mostly on the go. I use my cell phone when a concept or a sentence come, then I move to the computer to finish it. Often I just sit at the piano or with my guitar when a melody pops into my head. I start to play the chords and let the words come by themselves.
KR: You have said it is your mission to give the “oddballs” in the world a voice and encourage them to express themselves in any way they can. Have you ever felt like the “oddball?”
A: Yes, I often felt out of place. I still do sometimes. I was a very awkward and shy teenager and was always scared of others. Then I started to meet people who would allow me to be myself and even encourage it, even if it would be weird, so I started to bloom. That is why I want so much for my message to be one of encouragement to not be afraid to be who you are…no matter who that is. Someone will love you for who you are.
KR: You have been compared to Madonna, Goldfrapp, and Pink? Do you like those comparisons?
A: I’m very honored by the comparisons! Those are amazing artists who are definitely inspirations for me.
KR: I understand you have two more singles in the works. Who are you working with on those tracks?
A: For “Princess Boy.” I worked with Brian DeNeeve, the guitarist for the band The Wanted. The video will be released in October. The concept of the song and the video is a teenage boy sitting at a vanity table in his room with lots of wigs, make-up and dresses. He is just exploring cross dressing and having a blast. Through writing and researching this song, I have developed an admiration and deep love for drag queens. There is a whole culture of Princess Boys out there. We need to celebrate them. This song is a start!
The single after that will be “Super Freak”, that I worked on with Grammy Award winner Scott Jacoby (John Legend). This song is about celebrating who you are, no matter how unique and different you are! I love super freaks! I feel like a Freak myself, that is why I wrote this song.
KR: Do you like who you are now?
A: Yes! It took me a while, but I found people that were crazy like me… my kind of crazy. When you find that, you don’t feel so alone. I met these people in the Fetish world, the Burning Man community and in the Polyamory lifestyle. I met all these people from these communities, and it allowed me to really start being myself.
Do you bring all that with you into your world as a recording artist?
A: What I would like to do is bring this way of life to the mainstream, so that others don’t have to feel alone and everyone can start accepting themselves even if their ideas might seem crazy to some.
KR: Will we see you on tour this year?
A: I’ll probably do a tour in the summer 2014. For now you can find me online at my website, www.Alinesworld.com, and on social media.
Watch Aline’s “Break Your Heart” video on YouTube and find her music on iTunes .
Disclosure: Aline is a client of Richlyn Marketing, LLC, a firm at which Kate Richardson is a partner.